Negligence Per Se: Automatic Violation of Duty of Care

Gabe Levin | January 28, 2021 | Personal Injury
Negligence Per Se: Automatic Violation of Duty of Care

Personal Injury Lawyer PA At the core of most personal injury cases is the issue of negligence. If you suffered harm in a traumatic accident involving negligence, it generally means someone acted without the same reasonable care others use in similar situations. Negligence per se is similar in meaning yet differs in certain aspects. Personal injury claims and lawsuits involving this complex form of negligence are often best left to a professional and licensed attorney.

Understanding Negligence

Personal injury cases involving negligence generally involve four key elements:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
  • The defendant breached that duty of care.
  • The defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injury.
  • The plaintiff suffered harm due to the defendant’s actions.

A slip and fall accident, for example, can involve negligence. The property owner had a duty of care to protect guests from harm. Failure to repair torn carpets or dry a wet floor did not violate laws, yet resulted in negligence due to the injuries that resulted.

Negligence Per Se Defined

A civil case that involves matters of negligence per se generally include these factors:

  • The defendant violated a law.
  • The violation of the law automatically breached the defendant’s duty of care.
  • The defendant was responsible for the injuries that the plaintiff suffered.
  • The violated law or regulation protected the plaintiff from such harm.

A civil case before a jury does not require proof of the lack of duty of care if the case involves negligence per se. The fact that the defendant violated a law designed to protect public safety—and that injuries resulted—is enough to present a case for fair compensation.

Examples of Negligence Per Se

Many personal injury cases require not only proof of a duty of care but that the defendant breached such care. For example, medical malpractice involves cases where a duty of care owed to a patient failed, resulting in a misdiagnosis or other harm.

An example of negligence per se involving the violation of law is:

  • Drunk driving: State laws exist to discourage drivers from taking dangerous risks behind the wheel. A drunk driver who violates state law by exceeding the blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 percent and causes an accident can constitute negligent per se. Information from the arresting officer can prove that the driver violated the law and is therefore liable for the harm.

Negligence per se can also apply to codes and regulations:

  • Building code violation: A building code violation that results in a collapsed structure may involve negligence per se. Those injured by the structure collapse may not have to prove a duty of care owed but rather proceed with their pursuit of compensation.

Civil cases that involve a violation of any criminal laws may involve negligence per se. Traffic infractions are among the most common types of negligence per se in personal injury cases. A personal injury lawyer can help determine if your case is a negligence per se case.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

The legal process for pursuing compensation is time-consuming and stressful. A personal injury lawyer best understands how to proceed with cases involving negligence per se.

Trying to handle your case alone may leave you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. The serious injuries you experienced require your full attention. Hiring a lawyer to represent you can help ease your mind as you adjust to your new reality.

If you tragically lost a close loved one due to a case involving negligence per se, a lawyer could help you. From insurance claim negotiations to a jury trial, ensuring a strong case is in place is vital for the best outcome possible.

The legal details of your case make it difficult to understand, much less communicate with others. A lawyer understands how to present legal information—especially in cases involving negligence per se—in a way that conveys the importance of fair compensation for their client.

The types of compensation that may be possible include:

  • Medical costs
  • Ongoing medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Potential future income
  • Pain and suffering

Why You Must Act Quickly

Civil cases take time and typically start with negotiations between the defendant’s insurance company and the plaintiff’s attorney. When these talks fail to produce an outcome that both sides can agree upon, your attorney may proceed to trial.

Your lawyer must file your case within the required statute of limitations. The time frame is not flexible, and failing to file your case on time can cause you to miss your opportunity for possible compensation.

A sudden and traumatic event like that of a car accident turns your world upside down. The time immediately following your accident becomes a blur. It is understandable how accident victims lose track of time. The multiple life changes that occur at once are why securing legal representation is a good idea.

Collecting evidence and determining if your case includes negligence per se can build a strong case. Personal injury lawyers generally offer free case evaluations, leaving you with nothing to lose by requesting a free case evaluation today.

Fatal Accidents and Negligence Per Se

The average person is aware that drunk driving is dangerous, deadly, and illegal. If a drunk driver was responsible for the death of your close loved one, they may face a wrongful death case involving negligence per se.

The drunk driving example listed above shows how the violation of law forfeits the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove a duty of care. The driver responsible for the accident must face accountability for their actions and for the loss of life that resulted.

No amount of compensation can ever replace your loved one. Pursuing a civil case can help ease your financial stress and serve as a form of justice. Criminal charges do not impact the outcome of your civil case.

The sudden loss of your loved one can leave you with:

  • The final hospital costs associated with your loved one’s final days.
  • The expenses relating to a funeral and burial.
  • The lost wages from your loved one’s employment.
  • The potential wages possible, had your loved one survived.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Loss of companionship.
  • Loss of inheritance.

While compensation of any kind is never guaranteed, it is possible and worth pursuing. Expenses like that of a funeral can cost thousands of dollars. This is an expense that should not come from your personal finances.

A wrongful death lawyer can stand by your side during this unexpected and most difficult time. Allowing your lawyer to manage your case’s legal details can afford you more time to spend with your family remembering your loved one.

Negligence Per Se Removes an Element Necessary in Other Cases

Cases involving negligence per se can save time for everyone involved. Not having to prove a duty of care reduces the burden of negligence often required in personal injury cases.

If you suffered a life-changing injury, you may require medical attention throughout your lifetime. While most personal injury cases settle without ever proceeding to trial, your case may go before a jury.

Outlining the pain and suffering you experienced in a way that resonates with jurors can be critical to your case’s outcome. Relating the impact of the defendant’s negligent actions and disregard of the law in a compelling manner is where a lawyer can help you.

Personal injury lawyers are often quite skilled in presenting evidence in a way that leads to the best outcome possible. If you believe the person responsible for your harm violated a law, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

How You Can Help Your Case

A case involving negligence per se is not an automatic win. If the defendant violated the law, the plaintiff must still prove their injuries resulted from the defendant’s actions.

Information relating to your accident and injuries can help your lawyer get to work on your behalf faster.

The following evidence could help with your case:

  • Police report: Documentation of the accident and the resulting charges against the defendant.
  • Witness statements: Information collected from witnesses at the scene along with witness phone numbers.
  • Photographs and/or accident scene video: Documentation of the accident scene captured by you or by witnesses.
  • Your medical records and bills: Medical reports detailing your injuries and the medical cost that resulted from your care.

A lawyer can research your accident to determine if media coverage exists or find any information that may help your case. Building a strong case for possible compensation requires attention to detail that your injuries most likely prevent you from doing.

Hiring a lawyer can protect your best interests as your case moves through the legal process. You do not have to face your civil case alone. Having someone at work on your behalf can relieve some of your stress during this emotionally and physically painful time.

Hiring a lawyer is affordable and possible. Most personal injury lawyers offer a free case evaluation and collect no fee until they receive an outcome in your case. Knowing that no deposit or retainer is necessary for legal representation makes it easier to contact an attorney. You are under enough financial pressure without having to face extensive legal fees for your case.

A serious injury can cause you a lifetime of medical costs, and that is not fair. The violation of a law designed to protect public safety automatically conveys a lack of duty of care. Give careful thought to holding the person responsible for your harm accountable for their reckless actions.

A free case evaluation is the best way to determine your next step. A respected law firm’s legal staff can inform you if your case qualifies for a civil action, if it involves negligence per se, and how to best proceed with legal action.

A personal injury lawyer will treat you with care and compassion while aggressively fighting for the compensation you deserve. Informative updates regarding your case are just one way a lawyer can help you understand the legal process.

Legal terms and court requirements make the legal process challenging. Focusing on your injuries, medical treatment, or the loss of a loved one is vital. The stress of your situation leaves you with no time for learning state law, for paperwork, or for returning numerous phone calls.

While cases involving negligence per se do not require proving a duty of care, the plaintiff must still prove negligence. If another person’s lawless actions resulted in serious harm for you—or caused the death of a loved one—consider seeking legal help.

gabriel levin Attorney
Gabriel Levin, Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury lawyers work to help accident victims secure the compensation they need. With rising medical costs and the uncertainty of your employment future, fighting for a fair settlement can be essential. Settling for less than you deserve closes your claim and prevents you from pursuing legal action later, should your medical condition worsen.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Fight For Compensation

Whether your case involves negligence per se or negligence, a personal injury lawyer can help you. A personal injury lawyer is ready to get to work for you today. Contacting a lawyer today can start the legal wheels in motion, and can allow you the chance to breathe a sigh of relief.

No accident victim should shoulder the stress of their case alone. Legal representation can protect you from accepting less than you deserve and from dealing with assertive insurance adjusters.

Consider taking quick action for your injuries or the loss of your loved one. Contact a personal injury lawyer without delay, and protect your right to compensation in a negligence per se case.